Tales from the trail
I've been using this as a light backpack for everyday carry. It's comfortable, the build quality is excellent, it looks cool, and it's small enough not to get in the way. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a simple casual pack for basic essentials.
My usual contents include a MacBook Air laptop, a 25k mAH USB-C power bank + cables + GaN charger, up to three 20oz silicone water bottles, winter gloves, a Summit Ice tuque, a 62" Eucos tripod, a Repel umbrella, a first aid kit, and various smaller odds and ends (wallet, business cards, Lumintop Tool AA flashlight, Leatherman Micra multitool, sunglasses, hand sanitizer, lotion, keys, etc.).
All of that is sorted within muslin drawstring pouches and Frost River accessory bags. The bag works great for my purposes, although it did take some trial and error to organize everything in a way that both fit and provided the right structure and padding to be comfortable.
A few things I would change:
* An extra L or so of capacity would be nice. It's just big enough for my EDC, but there's not much room to add anything else I might pick up while I'm out and about.
* A few extra inches on the cords would be nice. The length is fine for me, but it might not be for someone slightly bigger (I'm 5'10" / 165 lbs) or in thicker clothing (I usually wear a T-shirt). More slack would also let me open the bag wider to add some more room when needed. That being said, I do appreciate that it's a firm enough fit to stay reasonably stable while running.
* Given the cord length, the barrel locks seem a little pointless as-is, except maybe for much smaller people or children. I removed these to reclaim a small amount of length on each side.
* Having thin cords press into you without any padding is pretty uncomfortable. I found a small business in Canada called OCHRE handcrafted which was able to provide a set of really nice leather shoulder pads; just had to send an email and request a special order. These pads make a huge difference for the usability of the bag, and are also a nice touch visually.
Overall, I really like the bag. It's simple and does the job well. For travel, it also fits nicely in my Frost River geologist pack, so there's no need to move things back and forth between the two bags.
I have many items from Frost River and love them all but this one remains a very different pack. It folds up and can fit in a pouch or pocket and when it's needed it's ready. I don't use it as often as others I have but it serves a purpose and does things no other pack can do. The cords are hardly felt when it's worn and it's built so well. A heck of a backpack.
Needed a tough bag for snacks,shells,scents,etc for hunting. This makes for a perfect essentials bag for a hike/hunt.
I travel all over the world and love sack packs to walk around the cities of the world, this pack is a lot tougher than the big brand polyester sacks. It looks a lot better and most importantly its Made in the USA.